Title:
Back country and cross country soft snow ski traction device for ascent and descent
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This device is designed to facilitate the ascent and descent by a back country or cross country skier on moderate to steeply inclined soft snow slopes. Its utility consists of its ease of installation and removal, and its exceptional performance as tested in prototype form. This device is unique in that it facilitates both ascent and descent. It is believed that no existing device allows for ascent as well as for safe, controlled descent thereby giving the skier the option not to ski down a slope if he does not feel he can safely do so.



Inventors:
Coulbourn, George (Black Diamond, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/406132
Publication Date:
10/25/2007
Filing Date:
04/19/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63C5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MEYER, JACOB B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GEORGE COULBOURN (BLACK DIAMOND, WA, US)
Claims:
1. Safety and utility: An attachable apparatus that allows a backcountry or cross country skier to safely ascend and descend moderate to steep soft snow covered slopes.

2. Ease of use: An apparatus that may be quickly attached and removed without modification or damage to the ski, allowing the skier to choose specifically when and when not to use it.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

None that offer the functionality provided by this device are believed to exist.

SPONSORSHIP

No federal or any other kind of sponsorship has been involved.

BACKGROUND

This device allows the backcountry and cross country skier to ascend and descend moderate to steep soft snow slopes. It is an easily attached and removed without modification to the ski. Existing devices are designed either for hard snow and ice, or do not facilitate descent, or both. The device has been rigorously tested in prototype form by the inventor, an experienced mountaineer and year-around volunteer in the backcountry of Mt Rainier National park.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

This device is designed to facilitate the ascent and descent by a back country or cross country skier of moderate to steeply inclined soft snow slopes. Its utility consists of its ease of installation and removal, and its exceptional performance as tested in prototype form (see drawings and photo). This device is unique in that it facilitates both ascent and descent. It is believed that no existing device allows for safe, controlled descent thereby giving the skier the option to descend a slope without skiing if he feels he can not safely do so. The device is used in pairs, one on each ski. It is installed in seconds, by slipping it over the front end of the ski, sliding it down, and securing it immediately in front of the toe binding.

All other existing ski attachments are designed primarily for use on ice and hard snow and/or for ascent only. They resemble crampons commonly used by mountaineers for glacier or hard snow and ice travel. This device differs from them in the following ways: 1) This device is not permanently attached to the ski. 2) It can be installed and removed in seconds. 3) It is highly reliable, user-friendly, and provides high confidence to the user. 4) It is compact, lightweight and robust. 5) It is easily transported (in a pocket, for example), thereby not cluttering or adding weight to the ski when not in use. 6) It requires no modification to the ski and protects the ski against damage by the device itself. 7) It is simple to fabricate and will be considerably less expensive, more reliable, and longer lasting than the few effective alternatives such as “climbing skins”.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Included in FIG. 1 are three orthogonal views of the device.

FIG. 2 is a photograph of the prototype as tested.

As seen in FIG. 1, the inventor contemplates offering different sizes of the device both to accommodate differing ski widths (dimension W) and different snow conditions (dimension D).

The prototype as shown is fabricated using steel and aluminum. Production models may use high strength plastics for some parts as well. One device per ski is required.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The inventor feels that the Background, Summary, Drawings and Photograph adequately explain both the device and its intended use and that avoiding repetition makes the most efficient and considerate use of the reviewer's time.

Inhancements: Although the device provides excellent results in prototype form, four enhancements are currently under consideration. 1) The prototype device employs an “Angle” shape for traction and control. A “Tee” shape would provide additional rigidity and allow securing it to the ski with two separate clamping brackets. However, the prototype functions well without this additional feature. 2) Side plates parallel to the direction of travel would negate a tendency for the ski to slip downhill sideways. However, the prototype functions well without this additional feature. 3) A non-stick coating might be useful to avoid adherence by snow. However, the prototype functions well without this additional feature. 4) Use of plastic instead of a metal alloy for various parts might be desirable. However, the prototype functions well without this additional feature.